What I've noticed most online today is the split between comments of shock and grief against those of derision and making jokes about someone who has just died. The former consists mostly of the generation that grew up with Jackson's music as part of the cultural landscape, while the latter consists primarily of a younger generation. It's a complicated issue, and I won't get into it because there is no way you can discuss a complicated issue like this online. But really, isn't it better to feel compassion than to judge?
I will say that I'm quite flabbergasted at the lack of compassion, regardless of personal opinion. In hindsight, I shouldn't be surprised. Besides, It's easy to make shitty and hurtful anonymous comments online.
That Michael Jackson was a creative genius who forever changed the landscape of popular music remains undisputed. For those who spent their formative years listening to his music, the earthquake that was Thriller at the time of its release, this is a loss that cuts deep. The associations of childhood are powerful. They shape us in ways we are not even aware of and become the mythical landscapes of the personal. I understand where the shock comes from.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)